“Treasure Walking”

Living Downtown St. Louis brings joy (walking along the riverfront, catching a Cardinal’s game without paying $$ to park, and having wonderful eating establishments in walking distance…Anthony’s…Broadway Oyster Bar, etc.) and challenges (8 floors of garage to get my car to the street, seeing homelessness up close, and road closures plus construction that will eventually improve our great downtown area, but make it almost impossible to maneuver a vehicle!!).

For the past 6 months or so I have deemed my walks in the Downtown area, “Treasure Walks”. Each time I walk, City or Riverfront, I search for discarded “treasures”. My goal is to create a sculpture with my collection!! I do have questions…how to adhere the treasures…what would be the best base…when should I stop collecting and start creating…? I did ask my oldest granddaughter, Bailey, to be my assistant/my partner in crime! Get excited! I’m excited…more about this to come!!

 

“Mary’s Sweet-Street Treasures”

B-R-E-A-T-H-E

Want a big bang for your buck? Do this simple, effective, 15-minute daily practice. You will plant seeds for significant heart-health and emotional wellness!

B-R-E-A-T-H-E
An acronym that represents a relaxation technique that will nurture your heart as well as your emotional well-being. Conscious breathing is what connects the heart and brain and allows “conversation” between the two organs. Follow each of the following letters (steps) in BREATHE for heart-healing and deep relaxation.

B in B-R-E-A-T-H-E is for the Beginning
You decide the most ideal time and place each day for practice. It takes about 15 minutes. Put it on your schedule so that this exercise develops a rhythm and is part of your daily routine.
Begin with a positive attitude knowing this is a gift that you are giving to yourself.

R in B-R-E-A-T-H-E is for the Relaxation
To tap into the relaxation response requires focus and conscious breathing. Try to focus on your breathing (and when your thoughts wander – which they will) bring your focus back to your breathing.
Conscious Breathing – Sit comfortably in a chair and allow the gravity of your body to sink right in. Feel the weight of your body supported by the chair and your feet supported by the floor. Place one hand on your abdomen and watch your belly rise and fall with each breath. BREATHE in through your nose and out through your nose. Breathe steadily and slowly and with the inhalation of breath watch your belly rise. On exhalation, your belly will fall. There is little movement in your chest. Relax and focus on the sound and feeling of long, slow, deep breaths. Remember that conscious breathing in the connector between heart and brain.

E in B-R-E-A-T-H-E is for Envision
Research shows that guided imagery may reduce stress, decrease pain, lower blood pressure, enhance sleep, etc. Benefits abound. When you practice your BREATHE exercise imagine your heart parts healthy and strong. Visualize your heart as powerful with all the parts working together efficiently. Imagine the arteries, muscle, valves and electrical system – imagine what they look like working together to provide constant flow of blood to nourish your entire body.

A in B-R-E-A-T-H-E is for Apply
The apply in BREATHE is an invitation to use this technique in times of heavy stress and use it as an effective coping mechanism. By practicing regularly each heart-healing metaphor will be filed away in your memory. These memories will be accessible, retrievable and helpful in breaking the cycle of stress.

T in B-R-E-A-T-H-E is for the Treatment
The BREATHE Technique is pleasurable and therapeutic. These 15 minutes will make you feel revitalized and energized. It will leave you with a sense of happiness. The BREATHE technique is a treatment – and can be thought of like a pleasurable experience at a spa!

H in B-R-E-A-T-H-E is for Heal
The BREATHE technique is healing. When you practice 15 minutes daily you will strengthen the networks that connect your heart and your brain. You teach your body to relax. BREATHE can be used anytime and anywhere. This technique has healing properties that induce relaxation that has been shown to decrease arrhythmias, improve focus, sleep, etc.

E in B-R-E-A-T-H-E is for End
Every effective exercise has a beginning and ending. Before you end make a mental checklist of the healing metaphors you studied in your exercise. Imagine how you might use this work throughout your day (if you need to defuse a demanding situation or you need an energy boost, etc.). As you are ending this exercise take a moment to connect this “cycle” with the cycle of your breathing and the cycle of your heart. Realize and acknowledge the gift you’ve given your heart and your brain with this 15-minute exercise. Be grateful.

BREATHE (created by Dr. John M. Kennedy author of 15 Minute Heart Cure: The Natural Way to Release Stress & Heal Your Heart in Just Minutes a Day).

“Breathe” in Spring – Women’s Weekend 14

I may be a “little” biased (this is #12 for me) about Women’s Weekend so after you finish my post, check out the link I’ve attached and make your own decision! 😊

Breathwork is my practice!  It is a specific breathing technique, a healthy belly-breath, that I do which allows my body to relax.  When my body relaxes, I am able to let go of unhealthy feelings and emotions that are stored (or stuck) inside me.  I practice Breathwork regularly.  The big take-aways for me: a feeling of calm within even though life is chaotic, it sheds worry and busyness in my head and makes space for me (for those I love and for what is most important to me).  My Breathwork practice brings me calm, focus, and increased happiness!

That’s what I do at Women’s Weekend!  I share Breathwork Meditation – I teach you the fundamentals and then step aside so that you, too, can experience this life-long healing tool.

Why do I do it?  Because it’s my personal, most-valued practice. It’s healthy, healing, self-nurturing and joy-inducing.  Come for the weekend!  Come and breathe!!!!!

Power Thought Cards:  Louise L. Hay

WW14 – April 28th – April 30th

Camp Manitowa – about 1 ½ hours from St. Louis

Affordable, beautiful, serene nature-setting, delicious and nutritious food, a wide selection of activities to choose from (including high ropes course, kayaking, Nia, craft-making, labyrinth, Qoya, belly-dancing, yoga, and on and on and on).  Do as much or as little as you like.  It’s your weekend!  What a great gift for you to give you!  The single best part of “all” of the retreats I have attended…gathering a tribe of life-long women friends who value, support and make my world a better place!

Questions about the weekend…just ask…it’s one of my favorite topics!

I would be honored if you would attend – and if you need a partner in crime on the high ropes course it’s on my agenda this time around and I would welcome a “buddy”! 😊

Heal Yourself – Taking Responsibility for Your Health!

 

Heal Yourself is a documentary well-worth “1” hour of your time!

My “take-aways” from the film:

*eat foods that come straight from nature & your body will heal itself

*emotional distress always precedes disease

*homeostasis (body & mind come back into balance naturally) …to allow this to happen we must spend time getting quiet throughout the day…all your answers are within – not outside of you

*meditate 10 to 20 minutes once or twice a day (could be as simple as a walk in the forest & listening to the sounds) so that homeostasis (balance) comes more easily throughout the day

*increase your positive vibration simply/easily…think of 1 thing that gives you joy & deep fulfillment (hold that thought/picture for 30 seconds), think about a 2nd thing that brings joy & deep fulfillment (hold that thought/picture for 30 seconds), now think of a 3rd thing and again hold the thought/picture for 30 seconds.  In 1 ½ minutes you will have moved up significantly to be able to tell the difference.  Simple/beautiful/easy…

*surround yourself with people who understand…reach out…find people who have what you want…emulate them…learn from them

*Love:  being alive!  Find it in every situation…massage, human touch, a smile, a face, a kind word, etc.  Look for it…notice it…embrace it!

“You Can’t Purchase a Cure but, You Can Earn Your Health”

Why Not Begin Today?

 

Playing Catch-Up in 2017

Wow – I totally missed a blog in January.  Here’s a little of what’s been going on in my life…

 

 

 

TODAY, February 7th, sunny, windy and 66 degrees!  I’ve opened all my condo windows hoping to dispose of lingering germs and bring in mother nature’s fresh air!  I took a long, leisurely walk downtown and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the many people taking advantage of the beautiful weather.  I grabbed a salad at the Culinaria grocery store near my house and ate outside doing the one thing I thoroughly enjoy – people-watching!!

 

 

 

2017 – My Best Year Yet! 

 I listened to John O’Leary’s Live Inspired Podcast “10 Steps to Your Best Year Yet,” with Jinny Ditzler (the author and founder).  Ginny and John walked me through 10 questions that challenged me to reflect on my accomplishments and disappointments in 2016.  I also discerned my values and what holds me back from getting what I want.  Upon completion of the questions I had not only taken a valuable inventory, I also had goals and a concrete plan for 2017.  Two of my goals:

*Remove Facebook App from my phone. WOW!  That’s all that I have to say…the added time for important things – face to face with others…real conversations…including with hubby of 39 years (this March)! WOW!

*Begin licensure for the state of Florida.  I LOVE the ocean and would love to spend more time walking beaches.  I also LOVE counseling…why not work towards possibilities and opportunities!!

This process gave me direction and clarity for 2017.  Nothing monumental or overwhelming – just a sound road map to follow – step by step. I recommend this process if you find yourself a  little “direction-less” and want some help in navigating 2017.

 

YOGALIGN (pain-free yoga from your inner core) – I am learning, studying and practicing this form of yoga that was created by Michaelle Edwards.  YogAlign encourages proper body alignment, builds strength and increases mobility.  It emphasizes maintaining natural body position and the natural curves of the spine.  In YogAlign it’s not what you’re doing, but how you are breathing when you’re doing it that determines the postural balance and quality of movement.  YogAlign uses functional techniques to train your brain (and the codes in your nervous system) to move your body differently, to enable better posture and to encourage functional movement from your core.

Intrigue and excitement is all that I can say right now…I am devouring a 400-page book that includes the YogAlign method, philosophy, breathing from your core, the anatomy of your core, the postures, poses, etc.  I am a diligent student of the CD…practicing, pausing, retracing and listening again until I get it! 

My intention is to soak up as much knowledge and practice for my personal use…and eventually, somewhere down the winding road…seek additional training so that I may be a conduit for others.  YogAlign makes my body feel like a “kid-body” again – and that’s GOOD!

 

 

HAWAII – I am traveling to Hawaii (The Big Island) in April!  At this point, I am seriously watching hopper for the best travel rates and will snatch a plane ticket when that occurs.  Can’t be more excited…traveling with my sister and great friend, Anne.  We will be visiting another sister (yep there’s five of us girls total)!  Dreaming, visualizing and appreciating this awesome opportunity!

 

That  brings you up to date in my life.  I’d love to hear your 2017 so far – and what’s exciting you this new year!

Peace and blessings,

Mary

Cups of “Indulging” Comfort

 

Winter is here “WEATHER” we like it or not!

Warmth, comfort, small indulgences…these 2 healthy drinks top my  list!

Perfecto for the Season!  Enjoy!

 

 

Mayan hot Chocolate

Worth Noting:  I suggest this delicious drink morning or afternoon.  One evening, around 9 p.m., I indulged in a cup of this luscious hot chocolate.  I ended up being awake, energetic and very focused until 1 a.m.  I will have to admit that I got oodles of “stuff” done! Just sayin…                                                                                              

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                             

1 cup organic milk (or substitute for Almond milk)

2 tbsp. raw cacao powder

½ tsp. corn starch

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground chili pepper

1-2 tbsp. honey

Preparation

*In a small mixing bowl, combine cacao, corn starch and spices.

*Adding a small amount of the milk, whisk into a paste.

*In a saucepan, heat remaining milk slowly over medium heat making sure to remove just before boiling.

*Slowly add the paste to the saucepan and simmer until slightly thickened.

*Pour into a mug and add honey to desired sweetness.

A bit of History:  In Mayan society couples drank the sacred beverage on occasions of engagement and marriage.  This was true chocolate and was said to achieve happiness and connection. If you have never tried eating raw chocolate, this heart opening experience is not to be missed!  (the Sacred Cookbook – Forgotten Healing Recipes of the Ancients)

 

Golden Milk

Worth Noting:  I’ve come across a plethora of recipes for golden milk  – this is a mixture of several recipes.  Besides being so “healthy” it is simply delicious.   A great drink in the evening before going to bed!! 

Ingredients:                                                                                                                          

2 cups coconut milk

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 ½ tsp. of turmeric

1 tsp. ginger (I use fresh and grate it into the saucepan)

¼ tsp. pepper

Honey to taste

*Stir all ingredients (except honey) in saucepan.  Simmer 10 minutes on low heat.  Strain the mixture to dispose of the ginger.  Add honey to taste.

*Pour into a mug.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Makes 2 servings – perfect to share with a friend!

A bit of wisdom:  Tumeric originates from India and has been proven to help with pain relief. It lubricates the joints so helps conditions such as arthritis.  Golden milk detoxes the liver and helps to purify the blood.

 

“2” of my favorite ways to “hug” myself in Winter!  And you??

 

Kindness Exemplified!

Ann and her Mom

Ann (friend of biking, Women’s Weekend…beautiful, adventuresome soul with a smile that holds an abundance of light and positivity) hosted a Kindness “Rocks” party this past Saturday.

And it “ROCKED”!!

In Gratitude…

-for the sunshiny, cool Fall day making it great biking weather to the party

-for the guests of honor…Ann’s parents visiting from Wisconsin

-the rocks that Ann lugged back all the way from California

-neighbors, friends, young and old, gathered…meeting, painting, chatting, connecting

-an array of multi-colored paints, markers, glitter, paint-pens  rock

-heavenly decadent blueberry lavender cheesecake

-laughter, banter and beautiful quotes…being searched, penned &    painted on rocks.

-a let down your hair, come as you are JOY-FILLED afternoon!  people painting

 

 

A little about #TheKindnessRocksProject

It started as a hobby of one…painting and dropping a few rocks at a time.  This hobby has now turned into a movement due to the energy of many around Cape Cod and beyond…Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland, Thailand, Haiti, and England.

Goals of the Project:

#1.  To inspire others by randomly placing rocks along the way.

#2.  If you stumble upon a rock join in by inspiring others through random Acts of Kindness.

I’ve begun collecting rocks myself.  When I have gathered a good supply, I plan on having my family for a Kindness Rocks Party.  This is a movement I want to promote and continue.  I can only imagine the fun we (my husband, adult children and six grandchildren) will have…painting, deciding on inspirational quotes, stories of where we will place our rocks and what act of kindness we may wish to do that will accompany our kindness rock.

Yes, it’s a movement with endless positive energy!  Won’t you join?

WW13 – Camp Manitowa (90 minutes from STL)

I believe taking time away to restore is critical. Over the last several years, I’ve had the joy of rejuvenating time away (2x’s each year) at Women’s Weekend. Here, I facilitate as a reiki and breathwork practitioner and I get a chance to play, too!!

 

Meditation – Facilitator of Breath…Cherishing Women’s Weekend 13.

Divine spaciousness holding 60 women

A slice of heaven…sacred terrain, weather extraordinaire, mega-doses of happiness

Supporting…honoring breadth, honoring women

Spare moments walking sacred land, kayaking magnificently calm waters

Sun dancing, sparkling, glistening – diamonds on the water

Peaceful being, peaceful moment – grace-filled abundance

Women’s Weekends (my 11th voyage)…

Soothes my soul, nurtures my spirit, manifests intense joy!

 women walking camp picforest camp pic

 

 

lake pic

 

bus picture

 

Check out Women’s Weekends.  A chance to relax, play, learn, connect…with others, with your soul…it is whatever you desire it to be!

 

 

“Hangin” With Wise Women

blue owl and pie blogToday I had the privilege of spending the day with my Mom and my Mother-in Law (84 and 82 years of age – respectively).  We went to Kimmswick, browsed through shops and then had lunch at the Blue Owl café!  Some of my take-aways from the day…

*can’t get much better of a deal than to buy 2 watches and get the 3rd free (especially when you are the recipient of the 3rd)!

*samples of fudge – the absolute best! (…and hooked us into returning for a purchase)!

* walking can sometimes be precarious…especially in a small, quaint town with uneven sidewalks, gravel, unexpected steps and concrete that has been eroded by tree stumps…(slowing our roll, locking arms, walking together – we were a united team – one not to be reckoned with)!

*stories and laughter, food and family (especially Moms)…the best antidote for making a ho-hum day bright and sunny and extra-ordinary!

I’m 58 years old – married 38 of those years…my mother and mother-in-law have been the most important, impactful, sensitive, loving, caring, teaching, significant women I know.  I am forever grateful and blessed for their presence in my life.

I hope you, too, have wise teachers/friends/mothers…and that you take the time to realize God’s gift of his love!

Celebrating Transition & Managing Change

A silly pic of Anne and me in the treehouse!

A silly pic of Anne and me in the treehouse!

So, my big sister (and BFF), Anne, recently moved.  We’ve lived near one another for 58 years (as long as I’ve been alive).  Anne and I have shared a lifetime of events, activities and love.  We’ve watched our children grow, exchanged Mother’s Days Out to give one another a break, and took our kids for swim lessons together, not to mention daily swimming at Bangert Pool (it was close, cheap and wore the kids out)!  Anne has been my go-to for medical advice (she’s a holistic nurse and very wise), is a great walking-partner and we’ve gone for certification in Reiki and Breathwork together.  Anne supported me many years ago when I went through a year-long depression and was there to cheer me on when I crossed the finish-line after doing 75 miles on my bike a few years ago.  She’s a great confidant and cheerleader! There’s very little I would not do for my sister, Anne.

It’s a big deal that she’s moved to Wisconsin.  For a while I just pretended that it wasn’t going to happen (you can do that when you learn of it so far in advance). Then, as it got closer, it became real!  So, I did what I knew needed to be done…I embraced it!

My daughter (and Anne’s goddaughter), Abby, and I took Anne on an overnight to a magical treehouse on 70 acres of land.  For 24 hours we hung out, laughed journaled, shared stories and shed tears.  Joe and Adrianne (Anne’s son and daughter-in-law who she is moving “home” to in Wisconsin) wrote a beautiful letter of their vision and dream of having Anne (and her husband Jim) grow old near them.  I led a loving-kindness meditation and we honored Anne’s past as a young girl, then as a woman, the present of all that is going on now, and then what is to come.  What a wonderful celebration of my sister, the lives she’s touched and the love that she is to so many.

So, on to a new Chapter!  Anne and I have spent time looking ahead.  We journaled all the ways that we can nourish our special bond (facetime, meeting halfway, a book club, and on and on)! We’ve got our first trip on the calendar – I’m traveling to her new home in September! 

Change is not easy, although it is inevitable!  It happens all the time in so many ways.  We can try to resist it, but it comes anyway.  Embracing change, celebrating the past, present and what the future will look like, and allowing “all” of the feelings that change stirs within us, is truly the only way to go! 

 

Share a transition in your own life.  How did you manage, embrace and celebrate that change?